As we come to the one-week anniversary of the Paris Attacks; it’s interesting to see how brands have reacted to this. We were pleasantly surprised to see Amazon put a landing page up on their site with a mark of respect and closing their shop for 24hours. This a bold move by a brand often perceived as cut-throat and with no heart. Well done Amazon.
But heart is what many brands love to show. We see their fun side through social media such as Instagram often, but the corporate sites often feel more removed and focused on their objectives. Maybe we don’t give them enough credit for sharing their emotions too; and the social conscience. French based brands like many cosmetic brands naturally showed their support and announced minute silences. Logo’s changed red, white and blue. Magazine homepages donned beautiful Parisian iconic images.
So, then why do so many brands shy way from any comment during tragic times? One reason is lack of preparation, in the same way that some brands have not thought through a plan for a negative backlash on their brand and how to respond. Planning is essential. Just ask yourselves: What if something was to happen again, would you want to show your customers you care? You may not wish to hold trading, but an acknowledgement such as the simple #PeaceforParis Jean Jullien illustration.
Occasionally though you can see some news coming and here’s some great examples of how brands have acknowledged good news with creative excellence.
For our social media work we have to keep abreast of trends and we mainly advise client’s to stay out of politics for the company and especially avoiding negative and even sarcastic comments on anything (political or otherwise). But it’s worth creating a plan for the future on how the business would like to deal with such tragedies and wear a heart on their sleeves for their clients and all to see.
One worthy note is to check your staff employment contracts in respect of their social media posts if clients are following them and may take offence to their personal comments. It’s often useful to give an employee like an account manager a new Facebook, Twitter etc. profile purely for work with the appropriate disclaimers in the profile. They can then share the brands main post to show consistency.